There will never be another record like Paul’s Boutique. Not because there aren’t innovative musicians, but because after changes in copyright law required all samples to be cleared with their creators, the only person who could afford to make it is Bill Gates. On one song, “Egg Man,” the Beasties sampled Sly and the Family Stone, Public Enemy, Curtis Mayfield, Bernard Herrmann’s score from Cape Fear and dialogue from Jaws and Psycho. All of the samples were stitched together and overstuffed until they became a mattress for bouncy, pop culture obsessed rhymes (“There’s more to me than you’ll ever know/ And I’ve got more hits than Sadaharu Oh/ Tom Thumb, Tom Cushman or Tom Foolery/ Date women on TV with the help of Chuck Woolery”). Few records of any kind evince this much head-spinning joy, and coming on the heels of Licensed to Ill, their self-consciously idiotic debut, it announced that the Beasties were an innovative force.
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